So I am reading this interview in the Escapist, with famed game designer -
Raph Koster. Just FYI, Raph has had a hand in creating some of the most famous and most popular MMOGs in existence. He has also written to what I consider to be a book (A Theory of Fun for Game Design) that should be required reading for anyone interested in deploying games. (Turns out, he is also a really nice guy too). Raph though is starting a new company called Areae. Its flagship product is known as Metaplace and he describes it as "It's really kind of the equivalent to Blogger, but for virtual worlds." OK great...DIY MMOGs...some will suck...no doubt, no argument but just like in Second Life and other fertile ground for user-created content, some will flat out amaze.
When asked about some of the stuff that is already being created in the alpha-release being particularly cool, Raph responds with this example, "People are just doing crazy stuff. We've got a chat world, it literally looks like an IRC world. We have one tester who has added automatic language translation to it, using Google translate and the like. It happens transparently and automatically. When I think about the amount of effort we go to put that stuff into a commercial project, and to have an alpha tester add it in live a day and a half, it blew my mind."
Blows my mind too. Makes me long for the passion, the technical savvy and the availability of an equally rich platform for the learning world.